The initiation

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As the "new guy" in any working environment, you are always subject to the time worn initiations from the more experienced guys.

Of course there are the more obvious ones like being asked to go pick up some four by twos so that they guys at the lumber yard can identify you as the new guy. I was sent for a case of toe nails. When I got to the service desk (the guys at the desk are always happy to do anything they can to prolong the wild goose chase) I was told that they were out and I would have to go across town to the other lumber yard where they had just gotten a new shipment in.

Many new guys will fall for the lame "go get the board stretcher" bit but almost all of them will happily go to the yard to ask for a thumb tack or paper clip attachment for the staple gun. And you can usually get them to run down to pick up a brass magnet. Most guys will realize you are messing with them if you ask them to get the left handed hammer or the metric crescent wrench. But not all. Sometimes guys will actually go to the hardware store to ask for a bubble for a spirit level. I never knew even one guy to actually go looking for a sky hook but that did not stop the old hands from trying.

I had a friend who worked in a finishing shop and their favorite was to give the new guy a Styrofoam cup and send him to get lacquer thinner. Then they would get all over him for making a mess. They were also fond of asking the guy to go to the paint store to get plaid paint.

I know there are a million variations on this that vary from trade to trade. Like when I was a kid and worked in a gas station and the boss sent me out to the pumps to change the blinker fluid on a car that was being serviced. And another time he told me not to miss the muffler bearings when I was lubing a car. When I was in high school there was one kid who never lived down seriously trying to find the keys to the batter's box.

Now, where did I put that case of grid squares?


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